Saturday, October 13

A lesson from Jeremiah, part 2

Okay, I didn't think I'd write on Jeremiah for a little while but writing the last post, my eyes saw another golden nugget that I couldn't resist writing on.

One of the thing I love about God is that He loves and cares for the vulnerable (foreigners, orphans, widows). Furthermore, He is so passionate that His followers also love and care for the orphan and widow that He tells us to do so many times throughout the entire Bible. So if we are not actively doing so, it is sin (James 4:17).

Shortly after the last passage that I shared, Jeremiah is told to tell the king and his people to administer justice. God says:

"Do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger (foreigner), the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place....if you will not obey these words...this house will become a desolation" Jeremiah 22:3, 5

He cares so much about those who are vulnerable that He promises to judge those who fail to do so. Why is this so important to God?
  • Loving and caring for the vulnerable is one practical way to show that you love and care for God.
  • Loving and caring for the vulnerable is one practical way to show God's love and care to those who might feel alone, afraid, weak, and unprotected.
  • It is a way to show the world God's love, tangible hands and feet.
  • It is a way to remind ourselves that without God, we are just as vulnerable (not to say that orphans and widow are without God due to their vulnerable state...their physical state is merely a reflection of our spiritual state without God).
I don't mean to minimize widows and foreigners but let me focus on orphans momentarily.
According to the Christian Alliance for Orphans, in 2008, they estimate that there were 163 million orphans (children who have lost either one or both parents). Three years prior, UNICEF estimated the count to be at 132 million. As of 2011, it is estimated that there are 2.18 billion Christians in the world, of all ages. Let's estimate that 1/3 of that number are children. This leaves 1.53 billion adults. The orphan epidemic could be completely taken care of if Christians followed God's command to take care of orphans!!

I know there are many extra elements to consider and I can agree that my statement above is a bit too simplistic but even if we were to estimate that half of those adults were in a position to adopt, that would still be 750 million adults...far more adults than orphans!

If you're not already doing this, take time today to plan how you can be involved in caring for foreigners (refugees, immigrants legally or otherwise), orphans (domestic and internationals, children with one parent or none), and widows (elderly, single mothers, or true widows). If you need/want suggestions, I can certainly offer some.

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